What procedure is done, before the doctor actually decides he needs to do a colonoscopy on me

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I am 42 years old. I went to my doctor about rectal bleeding and tearing and my hemmroid. My doctor told me he setup an appointment for a colonoscopy, what steps are made before the actual colonoscopy?

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  • Posted

    Hi James

    A few days before you are given a special diet to follow, (you are told what you can have) then told to stick to clear liquids (like consomme, apple juice, black coffee).  Finally you are given a prep to take which totally empties the system, and restricted to water only.  The length of time for each phase depends on where you live and the prep you are given. 

    For example, I live in the UK, and was told to start the low residue diet on the Sunday, until Wednesday morning.  Then I was told clear liquids Wednesday until Thursday evening, when I took the 1st half of the prep.  Friday morning I took the 2nd half of the prep and had the colonoscopy in the late afternoon.  However, other people seem to be given a lot shorter period to be on the low residue and liquid diets. 

    There are lots of posts, not only on this forum, but the Diverticula forum, which outline their experiences.  The main thing is, once you take the prep, you need to stay very close to the toilet, and take preventative measures to stop your bottom getting very sore.  I used wet wipes, vaseline, and just stayed in the bathroom with my Kindle.

    It is a few days of hunger and discomfort, but worth it to find out what the problem is.  Good luck

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  • Posted

    Felinia has described the preparation accurately. I had one a few weeks ago and my preparation was a bit different. My colonoscopy was booked on a Saturday morning, but I only had to start the low residue diet on the Thursday, so I made sure I had quite big portions that day to fill me up. On the Friday morning I had to have a light breakfast and was not allowed to eat anything after 9am. At midday Friday I had to have my first dose of Picolax, and at 6pm the second dose. It took a few hours for the Picolax to start to take effect, but by the second dose Niagara Falls was happening.

    The colonoscopy itself is fine, although I would recommend you have the sedative and pain relief, it doesn't take all the pain away but makes it a lot easier to cope with. Some report that they don't remember their colonoscopies, I however remember it all and compared to the bowel preparation, found it the best part of the whole process. One bit of advice, if you are conscious of what is going on whilst having the colonoscopy, pass wind, it does help with some of the uncomfortable, painful feelings of being blown up.

    Just keep up the clear fluids as you will loose a lot during the laxative preparation. Wet wipes, vaseline and an ipad / tablet to keep you entertained while you are stuck on the loo are recommended, also try and time any regular meds you have to take so they are not too affected by the preparation. Be warned that the bowel prep can take it out of you, make you feel a bit ill, drained and generally a bit grotty, but as Felinia said, it's well worth it in the end to find out what the problem is.

    All the best and I hope you get the answers you are looking for.

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  • Posted

    My prep last time was Moviprep, which involved drinking about 1.5 litres of prep and water each time, over an hour, if I remember right, which was quite difficult.  The runs also started within 20 minutes and caught me unprepared.  I was ready for it after the 2nd dose.  However the first colonoscopy 16 years ago I had Picalax, which was much easier to take as it did not require so much fluid, and I had a bit more warning before live action commenced!!

    I must say Paul's dietary timescale seems much more manageable, and I hope that's what you get.  But my Hospital was quite snotty about their dietary requirements and timescales - I've not come across anyone else reporting anything quite so long or strict.  Hope you don't live in Exeter!!

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    • Posted

      I find it quite strange how the laxative and prep procedure can change so dramatically considering my last colonoscopy was in Salisbury, which in the scheme of things isn't actually too far away from Exeter. I never liked the sound of the Moviprep laxative, luckily I've had Picolax for both of my colonoscopies, although the last bowel prep I went through hit me a bit harder than the first one, but my general health has deteriorated quite a bit since the first one so not surprising really!

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul

      I asked for Picolax, having had it happily before, as I have a hiatus hernia and can't take citric things, which Moviprep is flavoured with.  I was refused as it was "not hospital policy" and some people had reported "difficulties" with Picolax.  As you can gather I was not thrilled with my hospital and their attitude - or it could just have been the dragon of a nurse I saw.  The instructions and prep went to the wrong address and I had to go to the hospital to collect more, hence being a day late in starting the 3 day low residue diet.  I was told in no uncertain terms it would be all my fault if the prep was inadequate.  In fact the prep was faultless, I had more problems with the acid reflux from my hiatus hernia.  I have also had Gastrogravin as I had to have a follow up CT scan.  That was absolutely fine - quite the easiest prep I took, with just a 2 day low residue/liquid only diet first, like yourself, then 2 100ml doses of aniseed flavoured liquid.  There is no doubt that the NHS is a postcode lottery and Devon is one of the worst areas.

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  • Posted

    Sorry about the pain involved that you have dealt with & so far it's not been helpful with hemroids to know that a colonoscopy is next. Wait until the hemmroids are better. I was given foam steroids which cleared the hems up in a few days. If they are outside like mine were, as yours may be inside,  either way they are painful. 

    I agree with all the excellent advice on colonoscopy. It better to be safe than sorry. There is a new prep called prepopik. Ask your doc if it's available, it's a prescription and less down time in the loo. I would suggest adult diapers which helps with the rush to the loo and not always made it in my case. 

    I must have it done every two years due to history of having precancerous lesions in the colon. This is a bad time as my hems are acting up put off from Nov. until better & will have colonoscopy done in Jan. 2018. 😑 UGH!

    😉 GOOD LUCK 🍀 

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  • Posted

    Hi James: the truth is that each hospital seems to have its own slightly different version of what laxative to take and when. Mine prefers a dose of Senna before the main laxatives which I prefer. But the main thing is they should give you a full list of things you have to eat and to do and you just have to do them exactly as they say. You go to the loo a lot which is a bit annoying but I always found the examination itself pretty much nothing to worry about even though I always do worry cos that's natural! Good luck! David.

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